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Consumer Cognition and Pricing in the Nines in Oligopolistic Markets

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  • Kaushik Basu

Abstract

"The paper fully characterizes the Bertrand equilibria of oligopolistic markets where consumers may ignore the last (i.e., the right-most) digits of prices. Consumers, in this model, do not do this reflexively or out of irrationality, but only when they expect the time cost of acquiring full cognizance of the exact price to exceed the expected loss caused by the slightly erroneous amounts that are likely to be purchased or the slightly higher price that may be paid by virtue of ignoring the information concerning the last digits of prices. It is shown that in this setting there will always exist firms that set prices that end in nine though there may also be some (nonstrict) equilibria where a non-nine price ending occurs. It is shown that all firms earn positive profits even in Bertrand equilibria. The model helps us understand in what kinds of markets we are most likely to encounter pricing in the nines." Copyright 2006, The Author(s) Journal Compilation (c) 2006 Blackwell Publishing.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economics & Management Strategy.

Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 125-141

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jemstr:v:15:y:2006:i:1:p:125-141

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Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/journals/JEMS/

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Cited by:
  1. Daniel Levy & Dongwon Lee & Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Robert J. Kauffman & Mark Bergen, 2010. "Price Points and Price Rigidity," Working Papers 2010-21, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  2. Gallice, Andrea, 2008. "The Neglected Effects of Demand Characteristics on the Sustainability of Collusion," CEPR Discussion Papers 6975, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Nicola Lacetera & Devin G. Pope & Justin R. Sydnor, 2012. "Heuristic Thinking and Limited Attention in the Car Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2206-36, August.
  4. Antonio Filippin, 2013. "The Effect of .99 Price Endings on Consumer Demand: An Example of Confounding Factors Surviving in Field Experiments," Journal of Economics and Management, College of Business, Feng Chia University, Taiwan, vol. 9(2), pages 211-229, July.
  5. John K. Ashton & Robert Hudson, 2006. "Interest Rate Clustering in UK Financial Services Markets," Working Papers 06-14, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
  6. Franz Hackl & Michael E. Kummer & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2010. "99 cent: Price Points in E-Commerce," Economics working papers 2010-02, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  7. Avichai Snir & Daniel Levy & Alex Gotler & Haipeng (Allan) Chen, 2012. "Not All Price Endings Are Created Equal: Price Points and Asymmetric Price Rigidity," Working Paper Series 69_12, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  8. David Demery & Nigel W. Duck, 2007. "Two plus two equals six: an alternative explanation of why so many goods prices end in nine," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 07/598, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.

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